Launching a Successful Band, Utilizing Social Media To Grow Visibility & Working Together as a Team with YamHaus
Jenna interviews the awesome YamHaus band in our largest interview yet (5 of us on the pod!) where we talk about how YamHaus started, their vision of success, vlogging everyday for one year, how they got their parents on board and their upcoming FirstAvenue show.
Making their debut last year at a sold-out show at Prince’s First Avenue with Bishop Briggs, the Minneapolis-based pop band, Yam Haus, continues to capture the Midwest's attention with their high energy show, clean synth-pop sound, and engaging personalities.
Members Lars Pruitt (lead vocal), Jake Felstow (drums), Zach Beinlich (bass), and Seth Blum (guitar) officially formed Yam Haus in 2017 and launched their first single, West Coast, in April 2018 which garnered over 100,000 streams within the first week of its release. Selling out shows across the midwest due to a quickly growing fan-base, the quartet has played alongside national acts AWOLNATION, American Authors, Semisonic, lovelytheband, Johnnyswim, and Kacey Musgraves.
Amassing over 2 million streams on Spotify with their pop-inspired album, Stargazer, Yam Haus’ dance-worthy sound evokes the names of WALK THE MOON, Maroon 5, and Ed Sheeran alike. Kicking off the summer with Basilica Block Party, Summerfest, and the release of their latest single, The Thrill, the band continues to build momentum as they unveil their new musical direction throughout 2019.
Jenna Redfield is the leader of the Twin Cities Collective, the largest resource in the Twin Cities for bloggers, small business, entrepreneurs & creatives. She is a well known speaker, educator & social media strategist. You can work with her one on one with coaching and content creation (photo/video) services
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Hey, everyone, welcome to Twin Cities collective podcast. I'm your host Jenna Redfield, and today we have the most guests I've ever had. Welcome. Welcome, guys. And it's your mouse or the mouse. Yeah. And Okay, so what is it? What does that mean? Well, how did that come? Great question.
My name is Lars, and I'll answer that question. I've been doing it lately, although we've shared it the duties of answering this question, you're good to go. I'm going to give you my really quick consensus. We lived in a house together. It was called the EM house. We decided to make EM our band motto which stands for you
which is just a little reminder a for us as a band, because we spend a lot of time in a tight space van together traveling, just to be kind to each other to people the way you want to be treated. We're thinking about, you know, what we would want to say to our fans or young minds that would maybe be like sponges and absorb what we're doing. And we just decided we want to be about kindness and and treating people the way you want to be treated, which I think is like a really good, generic
Jenna Redfield 2:26
place to start. That's great. I love that. And yeah, maybe we'll have each of you guys like Introduce yourself a little bit, kind of maybe what you do in the band. I don't know if you guys are all the same.
I don't even know the only drums.
Unknown Speaker 2:40
Unknown Speaker 2:42
band of drummers. Group kind of
does that they hit like PVC pipes.
up on the start. Yeah, I'm Lars. I seen a play a little bit of guitar and a little bit of piano and cool.
I'm Jake. I am
drummer in the band.
I'm Seth and I play guitar mostly and sing a little bit.
My name is Zach. And I play bass and sing and dance and just have a great night, man.
I am the old man. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 3:16
Well, I mean, it's interesting because like, I got my first band, so I'm really honored. Yeah. So I was you guys were chatting. I was like, Yeah, I would love to have a band. That sounds like a really interesting interview because I feel like I grew up loving music. I mean, I went I was in choir and I did like, like, I play clarinet.
song with the Clarinet
Jenna Redfield 3:39
right, I'm really bad at it. Don't ask me.
But I did play piano guitar as well. But I was never like in a band, but I always wanted to be. So how do
be in our band? Yeah, well, I can.
Jenna Redfield 3:52
I can play the tambourine or something. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So So how did you guys like form? How'd you guys meet each other?
So Seth and Zach and I, Lars all met each other in high school at Hudson High School. And then Jake came on the scene later in the game when we were in college, or finishing college,
or went to school in Minneapolis. And it was like two years after graduating that Lawrence and I met up for coffee, we kind of became friends a little bit. And he was just like, Hey, man, do you want to drop what you're doing? moved to Hudson, Wisconsin, me and my two best friends. Seth and Zach are going to start this thing. And I kind of knew about a little bit and I was like,
man, I think I need to jump in on this.
I had him sign a blood oath, which is cool. Yeah. Just to like really settle
It was really intense. Yeah,
make it it's really like hardcore. committed.
Yeah, the coffee shop kicked us out. Actually. It was
Yeah, we had a coffee shop meeting and we had blood everywhere.
Yeah, really ugly.
We're like hugging in our blood. It was weird.
So anyways, yeah, we
so the three of us that went to high school together, we played music in high school just knew each other through like school sorts of stuff. And then this, like, just found out through random stuff that like, I played drums back in the day, and I play bass, but like, I was like, well, Lawrence has a guitar and he can sing. And
Seth has a guitar.
very classic High School.
Yeah, high school band. Yeah.
Jake was the first I would say like real musician in his, in his craft, I think to be because I think the three of us were just posers who really liked music, and liked each other. And wanted to do it in like, we're mystified. I mean, everybody, I think is a little bit, like, drawn to that like mysterious, like, how do you make a living at music with that wouldn't that be crazy ?
Jenna Redfield 5:32
So we all had that in spades. And I think that's really the only thing I still have is just a willingness to want to do it.
I will say, though, because I did have a little bit more like a formal, like growing up doing music, that kind of thing, like studied it in college. But when I met these three guys, I was like, Okay, I know that they don't have that. But there's something different about like, the way that they approach their instruments. Were it stuck out to me, I knew like, they learn quick, and they're like, willing to work hard. And so I was like, okay, something's different about it. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 6:00
So how do you guys then write your own music? Or how does that work?
Yes, we do. Right, the beginning, the first album we put out is a little bit lopsided in terms of our creative process towards me, because we didn't really know actually, another big part of our like team is this little boutique record label that we're working with. It's really just an amazing couple dudes who have a studio out in Hudson, Wisconsin, which is our hometown. So literally seven minutes from our house. This is really nice studio. And we had an opportunity to make music there. And I actually was given the opportunity before we even solidify what the band was going to be. And I didn't even know if I want like, there was literally no strings attached. It was just sort of this, like, you can come use this studio whenever you want. And so I did. And a lot of the music that I wrote ended up on our first album, even though we like formed the band a little after. So those our first album, I was Stargazer last summer. And that was a co right between mainly me and the producer, a little bit of Zack co right. But then this, this all everything's like, since that has been incredibly collaborative, I would say. And we're all like, pretty. It's like a democratic autonomy between the four of us. So we all like fight for our ideas. And it's, it's working so far,
something that's interesting, I think a lot of bands form at a young age or whatever, and then start creating music together. It was a little bit different with us, it was almost like the music was already being created, created, and the band formed around the music. So a little bit of like a backwards way of doing it. But I think we're all excited with how it turned out. Yeah, we kind of had like a vision of like, what our sound was going to be even before we all like stepped in.
I've heard the hippocampus guys talk about the writing on their last project. And they they have first kind of do what you're describing Jake, where they like wrote everything in a room together. And it all had to fit with what they understood as the four of them, or the five of them or whatever for. But I feel like more and more today with technology that's affecting how we write with it's affecting our creativity and how we can just like paint at any time. I feel like there's a lot more of like, like, we're all developing as songwriters at the same time, and then like bringing each other as collaborators in a sense. So like, if one of us has the seed idea to the song, they're kind of like the boss of that song, and we sort of help serve the other. So it's kind of a cool, like rhythm right now. Like we all just like, are bringing stuff to the table. Mm hmm. So
Jenna Redfield 8:22
yeah, that's awesome. So how, what does the band look like? Is it record tour play shows? What's the like, everyday look like? Or is it completely different?
It used to be
really clear that we just didn't do anything because we didn't have anything to do is is very much like we were in a band great. Like now what do we do? And the first year and a half before we even really made a dime doing this was just the studio with with our producer, and mostly Lawrence, like you said. And fast forward like two years later. Now it's all mixed up until like, basically, everything's happening at once. And some things get done better in some things don't get done at all, depending on how available we are how much time we have. But yeah, it's really like every weeks different, which is super awesome. But it also means that like a lot of things get limited just by the sheer fact of like, travel and logistics.
Jenna Redfield 9:17
Yeah, so sure. Is this you guys are your full time job now? Awesome. That's so cool. I love having people on that do it full time because it's just like such an inspiration to a lot of people. I know. There's a lot of people blowing up local like Liz Oh, I don't know if you guys Oh, man. We
even put local,
Jenna Redfield 9:36
it's crazy. But like it was so funny. Because like last year, she was still like pretty unknown. Like this year was really her year.
So true. And crazy. And she won first avenues best new bands back in 2012. Yeah, that's cool, just to see like, how many years later to continue just doing this more hard for it to finally take off.
Remember when we got this new bands, and we saw that about Lizzie, she was just break, you know, the time like, man, we got like seven more years before. But it goes to show that you know, like, if you keep at it long enough, you know, it'll work. I think it's the giving up part that I think is what, why most absolute don't succeed, you know, and the reason the mo won't continue as a band will not be because we didn't have enough opportunities and won't be because we weren't given a chance. It was because we stopped liking it and we stopped liking each other, we stopped liking the music. And some combination of that will be the reason, which is I think we keep that pretty like in our back pocket at all times. Because like we do love this. And we do love each other to do like, we spent a lot of time together. And this would be really miserable if we stopped liking each other. And doesn't mean we always have to get along. It just means when you seem to like be real with each other and like keep working on us. And like you said like, as long as we don't give up. I really do think we can keep doing Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 10:49
that's awesome. And I feel like that is that is something I've learned about success is it might take a little bit longer. But as long as you keep going, you'll build up enough credit, you know, build up enough connections and you'll build up enough everything and it'll work it just well. We'll just be like
47 years old accepting our first like the emerging artists, Grammy or whatever, like best new artists were like 50.
It's I've heard this quote, often I think we like overestimate what can happen in a year. And we underestimate what can happen in five years. And I think we found that to be true even with First Avenue headlining Yeah, that show, which we just announced, actually, for December 13 of this year. But that was a goal for last year. Yeah. And in our first year, we were aiming to headline there for you know, and it didn't happen. But now it's two years in, and we're already seeing like the opportunity happen. And if we would have given up on it. Yeah, we didn't hit it. Like, let's not try that again, then
Jenna Redfield 11:43
it always shows up, you know, when like, you just have to keep working at it. You know, it doesn't work the first time you try again. And I think that's true. And you'll you'll probably better now, you know than you were a year ago.
I think a lot of creatives to spend a lot of energy trying to force something that doesn't fit like fit a square into a circle type thing. Rather than just like, follow the momentum and follow the opportunity like path. And like it'll develop in front of your eyes. And so you don't have to be like, like, we make a ton of goals. And we know that those goals are just what's going to help us inform what to do next. But that doesn't mean like, like, there's a lot of things that happen that we could have never guessed or predict, predicted that like totally served our band, like last minute opportunities. And so you have
Jenna Redfield 12:25
to be flexible. And yeah, go with the flow about the opportunities for sure. So how did you so once you recorded, it was an album and EP was single? What was the first thing that came out?
It was originally just a single it came out the first but we had a whole album kind of in the queue.
Jenna Redfield 12:42
Okay, and how so? Were you growing your social media? How did you get it out there when you first launched it?
We harassed a lot of people, specifically starting with friends and family. Very shamelessly plugging. I think one of the things right away that we decided was that we set our goals like what are we trying to do, and we were trying to make music and promote as if we were trying to succeed, not acting like it was like an accident. And we're just like us happens to be really good song and just blew up like whatever. Like, we've been super like, like, some I call it aggressive. I mean, not that. But I mean, we just like shamelessly will go around and like, tell people about the show and hand out flyers or like invite all of our contacts in our phone or Facebook friends to a thing. Like, like, ex girlfriends from seven years ago. It's me like I'm in a band, please come to this show. But we also did a pretty big thing, which is that how did you feel about this? We made a video every day on YouTube for a year. Oh, yeah. So
when we were coming out with the record, when we were making music and stuff, there was a lot that was like, we couldn't release the album right away, we had music, but we had to do stuff. Before that, we were still looking for some creative venture to like, pour our time into and kind of like announce our band and like, build some content, I guess around our band. And a guy that we were working with in New York was like you guys should do a vlog. And none of us knew what a vlog was like a V log. We had no idea. So we Yeah, right. So we did, we did one every day for a year 365 videos, and they were like six to 11 minutes. And just like the amount of creative, like energy that went into that every day, because we had to do our band stuff. We had to be good musicians, we had to be good, like promoters and social media, all this stuff. And then we had to film. And then one of the four of us had to edit. And that was every day, whether it was a Sunday or a show day or whatever. And that actually did actually serve us well, as far as like, work ethic, work ethic, and then letting people know, like all these guys are like doing this. This is like the house band is a band. And
Jenna Redfield 14:41
it's the consistency part. Yeah.
That built consistency into us. Yeah,
Jenna Redfield 14:45
that's like the biggest like thing I always teach about cuz I teach a lot of social media strategy and cool. And so like, that's the thing is consistency, and just visibility and getting your name out there. It's like people, you know, they're they're distracted on the phone, you know, they're just scrolling through. And it's like the fact that they keep seeing us like, oh, man, this is like a really
consistent thing hold, you know? Yep. How was that?
Was it that consistency with the people that were watching us and us, like, it served us both really, really well.
Jenna Redfield 15:11
And they feel good, they probably got to know you guys.
And that was the thing was like, social media. So I don't want to say invasive, because that's it has a negative connotation to it. But like, we know everything about everybody. And we kind of wanted to let people in on our band dynamic and kind of the goofiness that we had. And so I think that served its purpose really well, we probably had a consistent, I don't know, 50 to 100 people that would watch the vlog every day in the earliest, you know, beginning of it and it grew, you know, over time over the year. But it was cool, because that was even before we were playing shows. So by the time we started announcing our first couple shows, we already had people that were coming, but just because they were following us for blogs for a year. So
Jenna Redfield 15:50
we're the local people. Yeah, a lot of it. Yeah.
Because there wasn't much YouTube is beautiful, in that it's very challenging. And like growth is very real. Yeah, there's, it's not as, like trends come and go, it's a lot more sturdy. So like what you do build, even if it's small, is typically pretty like we weren't featured on some YouTube algorithm that like made a bunch of random people check us out for a second and live in like a faraway place. Like everybody who found out about was pretty much organically through word of mouth or like other people recommending it. And that happens to be in this 3040 mile Minneapolis radius. And so literally like, like Jake said, like, we're a brand new band and a lot of like brand new bands book a place at a venue that's like 150 cap, 200 cap room. And we were like knocking those out right away. Because how many of the committed awesome people that were already super on board that you're doing. I remember a lot of like local peers of ours musicians kept being like when he doesn't put your music out already, because we started like playing little shows opening for people and had none of our music out. But I remember being like you'll understand because it literally like when we played our first show. At g rock we the first know the first headline show like the first show that was all show there was Oh, yeah, just somebody else. Right?
Well, you talk about the honey.
No, I'm talking about the honey,
Honey was our first actual show.
The honey is our first show. And that's how I can remember how many people that fits. But like it's sold out. 200 sold out. Right away. We had one song on it. We have one song at that point. And literally people were singing along to more than just that song and American be like how it's like, well make a video every day for 25 days and let people in. And if you do that intentionally enough, I mean, I think it's a similar like, everybody wants to put the music out to have it be good until everybody's somebody's like show up with like a big check be like you made it. And it just it doesn't work that way. It's like believe in people for them to believe in you. And like,
Jenna Redfield 17:39
that's why so many people give up. Yeah, they just want that instant gratification. Yeah. I think about Lizzo, she like she almost gave up many times she talks about it. Just Yeah, she she I think was right. When truth hurts came out. It didn't do well. You know, I like that. You know, it's hilarious now. But like she literally like it. Because that song is like one of like the only song has ever charted after they're like longest as it's been out
a year and a half after the original release.
Jenna Redfield 18:04
So it's crazy, you know, because you think that that would never happen. Once it's out, you know, it's out and then nothing will happen. But it's just it's crazy that, I don't know, I just I love her story so much. And it's it's just really, I don't know, I've just I've heard about it for years. And it's just like, you know, finally the world is seeing her and, you know, it's just it's so crazy. So what are some of the biggest things that you guys overcome? Like, you've probably had to, like, explain to your family and friends like, I want to be in a band, like even
some of that stuff. One for Zach. And specifically, I would say Jake, maybe not us much or me? Definitely not. But like your parents, I would say that can Seth at the beginning. were the most like concerned. Yeah,
yeah, I was. I graduated from like a four year university, and then was in my graduate program for school counseling. When Lawrence was like, man, if we're going to do this, like, we got to do this, and and I was under i was i was in on that. I was like, man, if we're gonna, like, really try, I don't want to be like doing schoolwork. And so then it just was like, yeah, the conversation with the parents that were like, so supportive. And then we're like, how are you just starting? Like,
he just started grad school.
Like, men, here you are, in the beginning, your journey like this is hopefully gonna pan out, you're gonna have like, a good job and like, literally a year and it's like, I'm gonna be in a band.
That I mean, that's, but it's so funny because my parents at the end, like, they just wanted what was best for me. And they were like, Man, this is gonna be a tough road. And I think it has been I think it continued like will continue to be that. But like, I don't know, if I know anyone that's more supportive of YamHaus than my two parents
that I was gonna bring that up. How, like, it's ironic that and your friends have been on this too. If they were here. Jake's parents are in Detroit. But what's super funny is Seth and Zach's parents, like at the beginning, were the most like, like pragmatic about like, hey, that's probably not Yeah, very understandable. Yeah, I don't, I'm in zero. Like, all of us were like, we know, this is good advice, or like good advice for you to tell us not do it. We know it's risky. But we have to do it for our own personal sense of like, and then what's funny is now their parents are the ones that hosts are like, weekly meetings. So like, all the things we're doing so they they're like working for, YamHaus. Like,
they're both like two retired 3M Managers.
Yeah, very helpful to have them on the team.
Like, hold us accountable.
It's funny, though, to like, with those conversations that had, like, that happened for so long. And I was that were difficult. Once that got passed, and I was like, my parents are on board. Now. It's almost like, I don't feel any like I don't, yeah, you're the disapproval of anyone like, Yeah, I got my parents on board. And they're like, accepting and are ready to, like, do this. I feel like nothing can get in the way. Now.
It's amazing how much that affects it. When you have your internal people supporting you. It makes a really, really big difference in your confidence level of like, what you're a part of and what you're spending your time doing. Yeah,
I think they need to just I mean, the people around you that are also have a large a large cost for the decisions that we're making. They need to feel like we mean, yeah. Equally as bought in as we are. Yeah. So I feel like it took a while for them to be like, they just kind of plan right now. Or like something that's Yeah,
be the real deal.
I will say, and I'm sure you're dead. Seth wouldn't mind me sharing this, but he told me this actually the other day. And just to show how much of a process it is for them to actually believe in what we're doing. It's not just like a flip the switch, and all sudden, they're all in, it's kind of like a process of every time we play a show, you know, and sell it out or whatever. They're more excited and more bought in. And we played Basilica block party this last year and sets dad was there. And he said, that was the first time that he was watching us play on stage. And he said, Wow, I really actually see them doing this as a career. And I'm seeing it work. And it was it was encouraging, encouraging to hear that
Jenna Redfield 21:41
a lot of people listen to my podcast are like entrepreneurs, and they're people that are starting their own business, which is like the exact same thing. It's not stable. You know, there's a lot of risks involved. And sometimes that involves a lot of other people too. So that's really cool that I kind of see being a musician, kind of like being entrepreneur
is it's funny, it's actually like we have a small business. Yeah, technically, literally. And it would be really easy to kind of be lazy, and like, oh, we're just gonna write songs every day. And it's that's how you'd be a musician. But we've taken a really pragmatic approach and very, like, all right, if we're going to do this, we need to do it. Well. It has to be both creative and
Unknown Speaker 22:15
Jenna Redfield 22:16
Yeah, it does have to be some of you guys more creative, more, you know, businesses that kind of mix,
we sort of force ourselves to all be like moving together. I don't I wouldn't say we like quarantine off sections. Like those meetings that we I was just talking about where Seth and Zach's parents just let us come to their house. And then typically, they help us like take notes and keep track of what we're doing. It's very, like an open process with pretty much all facets. Now that we have like Oprah and pat as managers, they over they do a lot that we don't necessarily do and we do a lot that they might not but like we all are, like very visible with the decision making process. I would say like there's no like backroom or Jake's like the business guy. Yeah, even though Jake actually does do a lot of our like, functioning with the bank and stuff and like, like various little accounting things you wouldn't think of when you think of like, playing a show. But we all have like roles to play and
I also have done to parents that are CPS. So that's part of the reason it's helpful. Either their phone call away from advice for bookkeeping. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 23:17
I've had two roommates that are both CPA. So I'm like, there you go. Hey, guys. Benefits. Yeah, exactly. So what is he like? So besides obviously, like, performing? What is your favorite part about being in the band?
Wow. Favorite part?
I love like the, the moments when you know, you found something good in the studio. And we like we can all feel a sense of like, Oh, man. Yeah, this is good. Yeah, it's awesome. And you never know when that you can't play on it. But yeah, I think those are like some of the most moments that cherish because it's great for people to enjoy your music and, you know, for it to translate live, but for to feel like a mutual love of like, oh, man, we're all stoked on this.
Unknown Speaker 23:58
Yeah, I think success what anyone else?
Who do you think say I just music has played such a big part in my life in in, like, kind of just sound tracking everything from good to bad. And I just am listening to music constantly. And the fact that like, there's a potential for us to create that for someone else. And just being creative. Like Seth kind of said, and being in the studio and making something and we all kind of look at each other and go, Oh, what's going on, like, this is crazy that we get to do what has, like impacted me so much. So just that like possibility everyday of doing that is like so fun. And so like rewarding.
It's very similar. I'd say the stories that come from people being affected either by our music, or how their lives have maybe shifted in some way from coming to shows is probably one of the coolest parts about it that aside from the music, aside from Yeah, the everyday, cool stuff that we get to do that's really, really special. We've had people that have gotten engaged, that have met at our shows and started dating. We've had people that are part of our street team that said that they really felt like that No community before starting to like come to jam house shows. And then they're like meeting people and like having friends and stuff. And that's just one of those things. You don't expect going into it. And it's really, really cool.
And this is really hard. That's a great question. Yeah, good question. I don't know I i like the Brotherhood aspect. I think maybe I'll lean into that. Because everything you guys said I agree. I mean, it is cool. The studio thing is funny because the studio thing when a good studio moment happens, it feels so good. Because it's so it can be so rare. Like you spent a lot of time in the studio, almost like in this sort of congested creative space where you're like, trying to like string things out, according to how everybody's like, thought process happens. And typically, there's like somebody in the chair that is helping us facilitate that. But like, when you do have those magic moments, it is kind of nice. And then obviously the fans, like people who are actually real humans connecting, but I would say what I'll highlight, I suppose is I do like the Brotherhood aspect of it. Like I like feeling like I'm with my buddies going to Mordor and back. Like, I like that mentality of like, through thick and thin like we are in this and like, I'm proud of that part a lot too, because I think there's a lot of jumping ship for what's easier in especially today's music industry and just industries in general. I feel like who stays at a business for 30 years anymore. Nobody. I mean, so I'm proud of that part. Like I will be really proud to say like, we've been doing this together since we were 2322 you know, if we're on a stage someday, as like adults, I mean, that would be really weird. We're adults right? Now, but we will we
Unknown Speaker 26:47
will for sure. Be there. Sure. Yeah,
yeah, one thing we we love bands that are like, we watch now and watch them for the chemistry of the fact that their band and you know, like, there's better musicians than all the guys in the but there's something about those guys being together. And that was actually a big thing for the vlog. She was like, we love seeing like old footage of like pans when they were like super young. And now if someone were to want to go like watch us 365 times when we were like, stupid and had no music out like that's there. Yeah, like the four of us and I'm and now we're just stupid and have music out
which is great.
Jenna Redfield 27:22
Do you have a favorite song of yours that you either like to perform or just Zach really likes We are the storm.
Unknown Speaker 27:30
We have couple add ons to our last album. I was like, Oh, these are the songs are okay,
good. That's a we agree. I don't want this on here.
Um, let's start with least favorite. Yeah.
We have a song come out this summer called the thrill that was really like,
it was just a different kind of vibe for anything we had done, and was really catchy and fun and had every aspect that I was looking for any mo song. And I think that probably probably is my favorite thrill. Probably this.
Anyone I feel useless?
I don't really have like a
Yeah, honestly changes all the time. I know. Jake has one.
Yeah, the song that we just put out yesterday, simplicity, has had a special place in my heart for a long time. What is it? What's a great question, it's really about like getting back to, like the simple nature of like having that one person in your life. That means a lot to whether it be a loved one or whatever. And there's so much business and craziness going on in everybody's lives. But you know, especially with like traveling and being gone, you know, in the band stuff. But having that moment of like, you just get to be with that one person and kind of strip everything back and like,
Jenna Redfield 28:45
yeah, so have you guys done tours and stuff? Or how does the shows work? Or is it like all the time is it every once in a while I'll hit this one.
We definitely are not at a place where we have enough of a consistent fan base nationally to where we can be like, we're announcing our we're we're like one of the things we realized early on, we saw we studied 21 pilots a ton. And we realized what they did is they just beat the crap out of Columbus, Ohio, until they can get out of that. Somebody else's hope. So we're in the same. We're little changes, same thing. So that's why this First Avenue show that's coming up in December is a huge like, next step for us. We've played shows, all over the Midwest, we've had opportunities, people call us booking opportunities, we actually have a booking agent. Now her name is Sarah, shout out, Sarah. We're just beginning that process of like becoming a national act. But right now we're just like a proud, like blood, sweat and tears. gritty, local band that will drive down to Iowa and Detroit and Chicago and walk we've sold out the venue in Detroit, which is really cool. We've had a lot of people come to shows in Milwaukee and a little bit in Chicago too. I mean, granted, you're on a bill with a band that was cooler than us. But regardless, like I would just say right now we're basically in a play as many shows that as makes sense. And that's where we make our money right now to that makes sense. So it's a catch 22 though, because if you play too many shows, then people can stop coming if there's just so available. So with Minneapolis, we've learned to spread things out a little bit more now that we have some snowball momentum happening, but like Milwaukee and Chicago and Rochester and I mean there's towns is colleges we played at so we're kind of just like grabbing whatever we can grab and making the most of it. Someday I would love to drop that one graphic. That's like UK, Europe. North America. Yeah, like
one day one day right now make our ego through really good but as it as a small business it would be Yeah.
We got smart. We got smart with with booking shows kind of like Lauren said like, if you booked too many like club shows in Minneapolis people can not go to they go to one in the middle have to go to one. So like tomorrow night we're playing actually at the twins game. Oh, cool. And then we play a private show in Rochester on Thursday. And then we play some well known on Saturday. Yeah, like a corporate show the next week, like divvying up where and what kind of shows we play? Yeah, I think is like, is the only reason that we've been able to survive and like actually pay the bills.
And like finding ways to play shows where it's not up to you for there to be people there are really big ones like somebody, especially if so the person booking it happens have like a budget like, Oh, we want to pay to bring in some bands. You know, we're we are growing out of this a ton. But there's, there's for sure, a few phases where we're playing three hour sets. And we'll play covers, we'll just play whatever because we're just scrappy, you know, aspiring musicians trying to make a living. So,
Jenna Redfield 31:37
so I want to ask about your team. So you mentioned a street team and you also have like a couple people work for you. So how did how did those people come to you? How did you decide to like have more people part of the band besides you guys?
First small band that's just two years in? We have like a pretty decent sized team when you start firing people. Yeah, actually, we're gonna we're gonna do it right here. I
was watch this interview like, you guys are annoying.
Yeah, we have our most internal team, which is the four of us and our two managers, Patrick and Oprah. Patrick has been with us from the beginning. He started as a stagehand guitar started as a roommates
roommate. confused about mine, and Zach's like scheming in the living room.
Yep. And jumped in learn how to tune a guitar, learn how to fly a drone for our vlog, learn how to do it stuff for database to store all the video content. And then
I was our manager. Pat's a nerd.
He's a great nerd hat is
neither one of them. You do like you really? nerds? He's loyalty.
Yes, he's loyal. He can learn anything. He's been our guy. And now he's like, yeah, then tour managing and booking for us for the last little while. Oprah jumped in. I went to college with her dinner very well. She said, How can I help? She said she want to start a street team. We said what is a street team? organized people who are on board with what we're doing, and wanted a way to help out whether it be turned on gear after show promoting our band, you know, passing out posters and inviting friends posting on social media, that kind of thing. And she organized that and it has developed into basically her operating like all of our marketing a lot of social media stuff. Yeah. And
yeah, still kind of street team stuff. But so that's our most internal team are those two, I was just going to say that the street team is sort of a never ending like Amoeba of like, people who like happened to come in and out of ability and willingness to like, want to do stuff and motivation. But people fresh off a college show at a college campus who like are coming up to us after the show. Like Love you guys. How can I help? Those are like really great street team type people. And we've met a number of those. So now like Oprah, like does more like helping and facilitating. And then with that specifically, but like Jake said, she really does help us a lot of she's at all of our meetings, and she's very, like, important to the brain of like making marketing decisions and bouncing stuff off of each other.
And then like Lauren said, our label hover, which is based out of Hudson, I mean, they've been there since the start. So really good friend named Jordan Erdman, our producer, Mr. Cameraman, surely Jordans wife like all of them have been huge I hard part of it die hard. Yep. Zacks parents sets parents, I mean, all of our families have been like, a part of it, but specifically Zach's dad and says dad helped facilitate meetings. Yeah, we have a girl named me who is kind of heading up the street team now. does a great job. We've our booking agent Sarah. Yeah, there's a lot of people that are like a part of the puzzle piece. But our most internal team is kind of like the six of us as of right now. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 34:53
I just think that's, you know, as you grow, you have to keep expanding into new people. And it's just, it's kind of scary, you know, to have like these people that you're kind of relying on them for your livelihood, and they're relying on you.
Unknown Speaker 35:05
You know, that's amazing.
Jenna Redfield 35:06
That's super cool. So look, I want to ask, like, What does like success look like to you? Like, do you think you've hit it yet? Or do you feel like it's still come? What does that look like? Like, if you could describe successful? Yeah,
that was actually Lawrence and I, when we were living in Stillwater, we had an apartment store together with Patrick before he was our manager. We were playing around the songs and stuff like that. And we actually watched a video by john mayer. And he kind of laid out this idea where like, if you're going to be in a band, or you're going to be a musician, or you know, whatever, you need to define what success is going to be to you. Because then if you don't have that definition, you're going to be reaching places, and not think that you've made it when you've actually been really successful. And so we were talking and we were like, what do we want our definition of success to be? And in?
Yeah, stadiums. We actually just was our like, I mean, we were kind of joking. But at the same time, the more we like, looked at her like, like thinking we're just being Wait, we do want that.
Yeah, we're like, do we want to do we want to be like a smaller band in Minneapolis and kind of just have that beer thing or like, I think that what's really inspired us and the music we've loved is like the big like YouTube and the big bands and like big arena rock, stuff like that. And so I think that was every step along the way right now. I think we're not being like we're not satisfied yet. We're not. I think that's a given take of, yeah, we're happy where we are now we need to keep building. But we're not completely satisfied with
growing from here.
Yeah, I see. It's funny because I think we I say that to myself and laugh at myself. Like I almost am like you really are in a solid state. Like the pessimists in me, the realistic person in me, the pragmatist in me is like, Okay, nice. But I would be lying to myself if I didn't say that that was there. And so I think it's actually really healthy that early on, we kind of made that distinction, like no, we really want to be able to, like have thousands and thousands of people at every show. And like make, like the rounds around the world and have like a real international panel base. And so I think that helped us sorting that out early, which we didn't really plan on doing like literally that john mayer video hit us between the eyes that night. It's like, a Berkeley, like a Berkeley master class or seems like a shaved head. And it's like, where it's like, super old, he was fresh off continuum. And I think he's like, just about to, like have like, his like breakdown, so maybe we shouldn't listen to
this. But it was really good advice. He's like, define your goals. Otherwise, you're just like, lying yourself. And like, that's how people get really unhappy. And they they like, can't figure out why they're not happy. Do you guys remember the conversation? We had, like, probably a couple months into like actually starting Emmaus, and you you asked the same question, but it was kind of like a different, you know, way of asking because we were just getting started. And you're like what is our you know, what, what success define for us and we kind of decided back then that it was literally just to do this full time and make a living and make enough money to like survive. And so in a way it's weird because we're done we did it. Here we are, we we've we hit it. And we are we were making a living were covered our expenses. And we're able to like keep doing this. So like our original, you know, definition of like what we wanted, we have hit that goal, but like Lawrenson Zach said, like, the long term is like, we want as many people to hear this music as possible. And we want to be able to like, really travel and like, create experiences, like the shows that we're having here in Minneapolis, and some of the Midwest places everywhere.
Yeah, we'd love that. Well, goals, goals can change too. I think that the beginning, like 12 year old Lawrence would be like, dude, you did it. If we saw it First Avenue, like I can't think of much like a very young juvenile age that would have like, blow my mind more, I guess, like name a bigger stadium or something. But still, like First Avenue. That's like, unbelievable specialist. And I still feel that that part of me. But like, I also think of like, you know, like desta. Yeah. So like, I was checking out the other day, and I think she's really brilliant. I really do. Like, I think she I almost like, right now. I'm like, looking at Tesla going, that would be cool. Like to be able to just continue to be she's like for sure. And national artists who can sell out places in other towns. But she's not so mega that she like, can't have a real life. So she seems like she's in that pretty sweet balance level. And I would say like, like to what Jake said, I think that's true. I think we just want to keep doing it as long as we're enjoying it. And then if that can grow mega we would like that we would we would we would want that to happen. But also, like, really know what that would be like. So maybe? I don't know.
Jenna Redfield 39:24
Yeah. I just watched the movie yesterday. And if you guys have seen
seen it, but I heard of it. Yeah.
Jenna Redfield 39:29
So like part of the I mean, well, part of its He's lying. He's saying he wrote all these Beatles, like parts of the movie is him recording in the studio and kind of like being like, do I want to be famous? It was very interesting perspective of the music industry. So I kind of want to ask about that. Because I read this article also about how it's getting harder for musicians to make money because of like streaming. And because of like labels and all these things. So like, what do you guys think of the future of music? Even like in the industry, like is big labels? Is that a thing that shouldn't still be around? Or like, what do you thoughts on all that? Yeah,
it's crazy. I think, for so long, like the gatekeepers held the keys are like they were kind of controlling things. And it's kind of like the wild wild west right now. Like, who knows what's going to happen in five years of streaming? And, you know, everything's changing so fast that it's, it's equally scary and exciting, because I think more in the smaller people are getting noticed. But then, like, the people at the top top are getting paid really well, because of streaming numbers driven. People so I don't know. I I don't think I'm afraid of it.
I think it's I think it's cool.
Yeah, it's weird. Social media didn't really exist, like 30 years ago, or less than less than that.
And it's crazy, because seven years ago, social media wasn't around. Imagine
like a, like a Led Zeppelin vlog.
tripping out right now.
Pretty much the
governor show next week.
Unknown Speaker 41:03
so loud, I'm sorry, our producer. So back when social media didn't exist, like Zach said, You almost needed a major record label to come in and say, We want this artists we want this band. And we're going to like have the means to be able to push it on a national scale. And now that social media is a thing, and there's the potential for people to share, and you know, things can go viral, or whatever it is. It totally opened up the world plus recording is totally different. Where there's a guy in Owatonna, Minnesota, named Adam young, who makes a hit song in his parents basement, at the age of, I don't know, 20 years old, or whatever, and it blows up. And before you know it, like he is traveling the world, Mr. Allen city, He's Mr. Alice city himself. And it's cool because the world has opened up to what can be successful, it doesn't have to go through the gatekeepers, like Aqua saying, however, it doesn't mean that invalidates like the gatekeepers, record labels still have a lot of power. And I don't think they're going to go extinct by any means for a long time, if ever, and I just think there's other options. Yeah. Now,
I think it'll shift, I think that the power struggle is changing. But I do also think like, so like power will never be another thing, like people having power will always be a thing. And so rather than like saying that there's no more like something like power gets distributed. And I think our perception of that is what's changing, which is cool. Like, it was super perceived that these people who had money and stuff, which are very valuable tools, they've gotten less of that. But right now, I think we still perceive the labels as being super powerful, but we're perceiving that less and less, I think people are getting more kind of like us, like feeling equipped to just get started on their own. And that that'll never go like being like writing very good music, connecting with people working really hard. creating some sense of a brand identity of who you are and what your music is, will never go out of style. I just think it's going to be more, but I do think it'll be harder is for like the mega things to happen. Like I think like Wembley will be harder and harder to sell out in the next 30 years. Because I think people are discovering so much more music now to where it's less like wider. Yeah, you don't have like 20 options of epic artists
Jenna Redfield 43:17
with everything that's with TV show. There's so many more out there. There's more options. Yeah, you're totally right. But I think like it podcasts, even you know, there's like, I think there's like so many being made every day. So it's like the fact that people listen to mine. Today, because it's like there's no other option, you know, but one thing that I was gonna bring up is like the old town road, tick tock thing. And I don't know if you guys like I really pay attention to that or like how like going viral and all that stuff works. And I just think that whole thing is so interesting. Where he like was, like literally a nobody. Like he didn't I don't think it even made them any music before. No, he just kind of blew up out of nowhere. And it just he used the power of social and like Tick Tock and all these, you know, apps
to kind of like the power of Tick Tock. Yeah. I recently met. Jake has one. Yeah. Yeah. Jason takes a huge,
Jenna Redfield 44:05
just, it's such a crazy platform that I just got one too. And I'm trying to figure it out. And I'm like, Is this too young for me?
My favorite are the How To videos. Have you seen those and it's like starts with somebody like typing in like, how to make friends into like Wikipedia how it like shows like a weird picture of like, people like this. And then they like reenact it.
You know? It's funny, like, the viral like ideas of like, how do we how do I go viral? And like, yeah, I want to go on Tick Tock so I can make this thing viral? Which like, I think that never works, right? Like
there's always exceptions to rules and like, things will always pop off without anyone's like, maybe some smart that we don't know about yet. Somebody call Yeah. But I don't think you can ever plan to like go viral. Yeah, that's never been a business plan of like, All right, go viral on this. And then
we do have it on our calendar.
That's why like, with the goal singer kind of ties into that of like, I don't think we're trying like, you can't plan to be viral and mega, you really can't I mean, but you can plan to work towards constantly like working on your craft and making more and like creating more joy that I think you're gonna get. There's
Jenna Redfield 45:14
like the I don't know if you guys have heard you say, Listen to Malcolm Gladwell tipping point. Yeah, you know, or there's like that concept of like, it'll eventually push over
and that point, and then what's scary is also we talked about a little bit earlier was like, it's scary, because then it kind of gets out of your control. I don't know a little nervous feels like, I'm sure you feel stoked on one hand, because there's so much going on. Yeah, but it is terrifying to be put into that limelight. And suddenly, there's people like telling you how to position yourself and what that means. And you suddenly find yourself very, like, kind of like boxed in and controlled and that can be terrifying. Yeah. So there's a lot of people who start to make money on you because of your success. Yeah. And that's why I like I love where we're at right now. Because in the people we're working with, I know none of them are doing it for the money. Yeah, because we don't have any.
Jenna Redfield 46:00
Yeah, it's good to find your people now before you had a bad day, which is,
which is why like, I love the Brotherhood thing. Like I love that. And I think that that's a big part of success. And a big part of like, the music industry that people miss is like, they just try to jump to the successful thing. Like how can we make it? Like if you're asking yourself, how can I make a viral video? or How can I make a viral song, I think you're already in a bad place. Even if you succeed somehow, even if you make it happen, you will not have grown enough of creative character of who you are to be able to carry that momentum. Well, like you'll just kind of be like, crumpled under the sun. There's all these eyes going do it again. Do it again. You're like, Huh, but if you actually get there by just like having a hard working process, you know who you are, you know what you like? No, you don't like and I think those are the artists at last. And that's what we want to be I want to be YouTube.
Yeah, frankly, there's so many factors with like the idea of something going viral. It could literally be like, Oh, this is for some reason, way funnier than any of your videos. You happen to post it at the exact time that certain people shared it and then other people you know, there's so many like small little details that go into those have to be good.
Yes, it definitely has to be I don't like to rip on people that go viral. Because like, I know you're not doing that. I'm just saying like, I don't like I think there's this to this people are like mad that people go viral. They're like, Oh, it's such crap. Like no ultra was a great song. I enjoyed that solo. And now that it's like overplayed and it's kind of annoying to me. I'm not just gonna like some grip on little NAS x like something just happened. And I don't want to be bitter about it. Yeah, I actually I really do like that so yeah.
Jenna Redfield 47:34
Well, I think that's true about anything the vitality versus like being ready to go viral most that's kind of what I felt like Linda was like she she was so years into it. And then she kind of went viral but it was more because she spent eight years or whatever preparing for it. You know,
that's the content I'm here for I live for. I think that's so cool. It's amazing. And even Linda has I've seen some moments of hers on Twitter where it does seem like it's she's starting to get a little annoyed with the the people talking about it and like I can't I met like we saw people on Twitter. Like means ektron Bowser day like Minneapolis people are like suddenly like so opinionated about this. Oh, like, Oh, this was not in our city enough. And like, Oh my gosh, I'm sure that gets under her skin. I'm sure all of it does. a pitchfork review got understand which made me a little bit concerned for him like Lissa look like Pitchfork is brutal period. You should just be stoked at their even like, granted. I get it though. She's she has her brand out there. She's the queen and I love it. I'm in here for it.
Unknown Speaker 48:27
Jenna Redfield 48:28
it is hard though because like we were the peasants. I think it's hard because it is your heart and soul that's getting critiqued, you know, like your music is getting, or your personality or whatever it is. It's Yeah, so
it's very emotional. Yeah, I'm ready for that. We haven't like the reviews and stuff that we've got for all of our stuff has been like pretty positive. pretty friendly. I'm like just waiting for the first I'm looking forward to
I want it absolutely tearing our success markers. That might be my success marker. You got a torn apart on a big review. It doesn't matter if it's I mean, Pitchfork be mega
Do you think we should submit or next album to pitch for
I was I mean, I think we probably like Oprah so smart. She probably did that. And like with just got put into an email.
Jenna Redfield 49:10
That's so great. Well, I kind of want to sum up everything that we've been talking about. So let's talk a little bit about the future. You guys have a show coming up. You have your new single, what else do you guys have going on for the next year so that you have any plans for you just kind of going day by day
after First Avenue? After that, hopefully sells out? We have some stuff in
Yeah, huge, long vacation. No, but we have some shows in Milwaukee and Chicago, and other places that are in the works. I'm pretty sure we just finalized Milwaukee, although it's not announced. But anyways, so we just have it like shows, I honestly would say we're gonna like regroup after that. We're going to go like, okay, what's the next goal?
yeah, it's kind of we spent, and we still are spending so much time focusing on Minneapolis that, I think after that show here is kind of be like, okay, where are we at? And all these other markets? And like, what's the next step and just kind of
keep lots of music to, which is nice. Yes,
we're kind of like planning for 2020 right now, with a very open hands. You know, because First Avenue has been the biggest goal that we've set so far, for like a physical show to sell out. And we will have to regroup. But we're also like, we have so much creative things in the works with songs that are on the way videos that are on the way and then booking for like next summer already in next spring. And it's still very much like oh, we have no idea what could happen but it's literally that principle consistency where you plan as best as you can and be as flexible as you can after that.
Jenna Redfield 50:36
Awesome well I'm so excited that you guys were able to come so far. Yeah, I thought it was fun for me to I was like this is most people I've ever had on the blog. Yes. But how do we find you guys online? Like how do we follow all your social medias and stuff?
Yeah, house calm. I think all of our handles are just EM house.
The Twitter's the MDM house band because there is a guy with the MMOs handle.
But if you search if you're listening to this, it's EM house house is about HAUM. Yeah, which can be confusing. But if you search that on the Google machine and all that, yeah,
Jenna Redfield 51:04
and you guys want to show you like individual handles too.
Yeah, mines at Lawrence Pruitt. They call me Lars. So that's kind of confusing. But yeah,
mines at Jake Festo at Seth Blum.
At Zach is
what's funny is I said used to be Seth underscore bloom. And we gave him so much crap. But remember that DO
the matter. Matter is actually broken. So not.
Mine used to be hoop j 29.
Yeah, but you probably can't find that one out there. Jay 29. That's all time.
Jenna Redfield 51:35
Well, we're gonna post all the links in the show notes. Heck, yeah. So well, thanks, guys so much for coming. Thank you. Pleasure. Yeah, we'll talk to you all next week. Thank you.
Thanks for listening to the Twin Cities collective podcast with Jenna Redfield. For full podcast transcriptions, show notes and more about what we offer Twin Cities collective headed Twin Cities collective.com. Make sure to join our Facebook group, follow us on Instagram, subscribe on Apple podcasts and Spotify. Special thanks to studio Americana for recording and producing this podcast. And thanks to Nikolai high list for the use of the song and the internet troll. We'll see you next time.